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City Döner (Updated)

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City Döner

Willy-Brandt Platz 5 68161 Mannheim

Four huge döner roasts stand on rotating spits behind the counter.  The sheer amount of poultry meat is enough to feed an entire army.  Orders are taken three, four, even five at a time as the workers cooperate together and form an assembly line to get them taken care of in timely fashion.  Freshly made flatbread gets rolled out in one corner, döner meat is newly shaved from the spit, and crisp vegetables are scooped heavily onto bread – all happening simultaneously in the tight area behind the counter while another worker takes care of the orders.  The place is busy, but the employees don’t miss a beat.  This is the scene at City Döner in Mannheim.

Like any other establishment that sells pizza and döner (or any fast food establishment for that matter), City Döner has a large menu board displaying all the items available.  Aside from the standard döner plates, falafels, Lahmacun, Pide, and calzones, there are also grill specialties, including lamb cutlets and skewers.  Turkish specialties, including Börek and Sigara Böreği, also find their way onto the menu.  Vegetarian döners and plates can also be ordered.  Chilled beverages sit in a refrigerator next to the cashier and include standard sodas and the like.

 

At 4,50 €, the Yufka Döner is a definite must.  Containing essentially the same ingredients as a Döner Kebab, a Yufka Döner makes use of a round, thin flatbread instead of thick flatbread.  This thin flatbread, or Yufka, is similar to a tortilla.  The filling – sliced tomatoes, shredded red cabbage, green lettuce, raw onions, and chicken / turkey döner all topped with yogurt sauce – is placed inside the flatbread and wrapped like a burrito.  What makes the Yufka at City Döner stand out is the amount of filling – the thing almost weighs a pound and is about a foot long!  Eating this Goliath is a tricky task in itself as the seams basically burst open after the first bite.

The flavor inside the yufka is plain solid.  The chicken / turkey meat is juicy and packed with seasonings – exceptional and delicious.  Flatbread is soft and delicate, baked until slightly crisp.  Vegetables provide the right amount of crunch and texture.  The portion size of the meat and vegetables is more than generous.

Despite all of this meat, however, the Yufka suffers from a lack of sauce.  Maybe the meat and veggies soak it all up.   Each bite is dominated by the saltiness of the meat as opposed to a harmonic balance of flavors.  Yet, in spite of this minor setback, the Yufka is certainly worth ordering.  The messiness associated with eating such a huge wrap makes the meal fun and challenging at the same time.

 

You also can’t go wrong with the Dönerteller (Döner Plate).  Here at City Döner, you have the option of ordering a plate with either rice, fries, pasta noodles, or without any of the above starchy foods.  Each döner plate is served with a cool green salad consisting of chopped lettuce, shredded carrots, red cabbage, diced cucumbers, green and red bell peppers, and a slice of tomato.  Parsley is garnished over the vegetables.  Yogurt sauce is squeezed all over the top of the plate.

Each plate is also accompanied by a piece of flat bread served in a basket.  The complete Dönerteller amounts to 7,00 €; without rice, fries, or noodles, 6,50 €.  Clearly, 7 euros is slightly more expensive than a similar plate at other döner places.  However, this price difference is easily made up by the overly generous amount of meat piled high on the plate and the warm piece of bread on the side.

In terms of flavor, the Dönerteller with rice at City Döner is by far the best plate of döner and rice thus far.  The Turkish style rice pilaf consists of white rice and scant amounts of orzo.  Both the rice and döner glisten in the afternoon sun like expensive jewelry.  The pearls of rice are delicate, creamy, and have a distinct, slightly sticky nature.  Combined with the dangerously addicting and succulent pieces of poultry, this plate works like a charm.  It’s sort of reminiscent of a delicious bowl of teriyaki chicken and rice (but, of course, without the teriyaki!).  Include the refreshing side salad and the impressive amount of yogurt sauce on top and you have yourself a completely satisfying meal.  Although presentation is lacking (the dish looks like a colorful snow covered mountain), the flavors work wonderfully on all levels.

Serving up colossal döners at competitor’s prices, City Döner may very well be one of the best in the city.  With essentially round the clock hours, this kebab joint can be relied on for that quick döner fix.  But it also has you wondering – who would want döner or pizza in the morning?  Maybe they should come out with some sort of breakfast Yufka Döner, one with scrambled eggs, döner meat, and cheese in Turkish flatbread – sort of like a breakfast burrito – or a Breakfast Dönerteller with pancakes.  Now that would be something to see!

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Summary:

With its excellent location directly across from the Mannheim main train station, City Döner is a popular fast food joint serving up gigantic portions of delicious döner and pizza.  Practically open day and night.  Only poultry döner available.  Outdoor seating available during the spring and summer.  Extremely quick and efficient service.

Hours: Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 6:00 AM – 4:00 AM
            Friday, Saturday:6:00 AM – 5:00 AM 

 

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Yufka Döner – 4.5/5
  • Dönerteller mit Reis (Döner Plate with Rice) – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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Written by geschmack

May 25th, 2010 at 7:15 pm